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A study of English passives

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Item Summary

Title: A study of English passives
Authors: Kuntzman, Linda Edmund
Keywords: English language -- Voice
English language -- Verb phrase
English language -- Grammar, Generative
Issue Date: 1980
Abstract: Within the theoretical framework of a semantically-based version of generative transformational grammar this dissertation explores properties of English predicates and their interaction with passive structure. Evidence is presented to demonstrate the need to take into account the semantics of a variety of verb types (not only those of physical action which are favored in most accounts but also those of relation and mental process) in an adequate description of English passives. It is noted, for example, that semantic differences between corresponding actives and passives are not consistent across these diverse types of predicates. It is argued that contrasts between corresponding actives and passives as well as differences in well-formedness among passives depend on the interaction between predication properties and inherent properties of passive constructions. Distinctive information structure properties of passives are explored in some detail, and it is argued that sentences are well-formed to the extent that their predication properties are compatible with the distinctive functions of passive structure in discourse. The English passive is regarded in this discussion as the vehicle for various information structure options including the option to set the object as topic and/or theme and the option to include a specified by-phrase agent by means of a separate predication.
Description: Typescript (photocopy)
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1980.
Bibliography: leaves 150-154.
vi, 154 leaves, bound 29 cm
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Linguistics

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